Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Luke Chapter 12
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 12:1-3
12:1In the mean time, when the many thousands of the multitude were gathered together, insomuch that they trod one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 12:2But there is nothing covered up, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. 12:3Wherefore whatsoever ye have said in the darkness shall be heard in the light; and what ye have spoken in the ear in the inner chambers shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 12:4-12
12:4And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 12:5But I will warn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, who after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. 12:6Are not five sparrows sold for two pence? and not one of them is forgotten in the sight of God. 12:7But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
12:8And I say unto you, Every one who shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: 12:9but he that denieth me in the presence of men shall be denied in the presence of the angels of God. 12:10And every one who shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Spirit it shall not be forgiven. 12:11And when they bring you before the synagogues, and the rulers, and the authorities, be not anxious how or what ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: 12:12for the Holy Spirit shall teach you in that very hour what ye ought to say.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 12:13-21
12:13And one out of the multitude said unto him, Teacher, bid my brother divide the inheritance with me. 12:14But he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? 12:15And he said unto them, Take heed, and keep yourselves from all covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. 12:16And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:12:17and he reasoned within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have not where to bestow my fruits? 12:18And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my grain and my goods. 12:19And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, be merry. 12:20But God said unto him, Thou foolish one, this night is thy soul required of thee; and the things which thou hast prepared, whose shall they be? 12:21So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
March 22, 1931: Luke 12:16-21
In our lesson today, is the parable related by Jesus of practical use for man? Yes. The parable in our lesson today is one that applies to every man and woman. Each one is that “certain rich man and the mind of each is the ground that brings forth plentifully.
Are the possessions of the “certain rich man” in each mind divided into different fields? Yes. When we survey our ground, we find that it lies in three fields. There is the physical, or material enclosure; there is the mental, or intellectual area; and there is the unfenced expanse of the emotional nature, the region of the heart, through which leads the pathway to the heights of Spirit. The mind includes all three of these fields.
How does man gain that which supplies physical necessities and comforts? When man allows his mind to become centered in the gaining of physical necessities and comforts, or to remain focused upon the carrying out of materialistic plans, he finds that he gains these things.
If man finds that he is laying up for the future, what does this prove? If man's work is done with a selfish motive, with the thought of being able at some time to retire and enjoy life in his own way, this is proof that he is allowing the texture of his life to become material.
Has the man who is intellectually rich greater possibilities than the man who is materially rich? Yes. Intellect can tap hidden springs that materiality does not even obscurely dream of. Nevertheless, intellect too can fortify against the inspiration of the Spirit. Intellect is an attribute of the personal ego, often its most dearly prized possession.
How did Solomon gain his wisdom? Solomon, the wisest man of antiquity, gained his wisdom through a persistent desire and search for an understanding heart. The heart, or the soul, controls the issues of life, he said; and a glance at human nature reveals the truth of his words.
Who is the truly rich man? The truly rich man is he who is “rich toward God”; he who has exercised his soul toward both God and his fellows in the way that God has instructed him. “My soul waiteth in silence for God only; For my expectation is from him. My soul breaks to me the ‘bread’ of life which cometh down out of heaven” and gives life to the world.
December 11, 1938: Luke 12:13-21
In what does a man's life consist? The abundance of the things of God that man possesses makes his life a rich and satisfying experience. An abundance of the things of the world may impoverish instead of enriching him, if he sets his heart upon them and forgets to seek the true riches.
The parable of the rich man whose ground brought forth plentifully represents what? The plentiful harvest of the rich man illustrates the principle of increase that is everywhere manifest as a result of concentration or devoted attention. The pulling down of the barns in order to build greater ones represents the greed of the selfish, self-centered soul that gives no thought to sharing, although sharing is the divine purpose of increase.
In what sense is the rich man's soul required of him? He who sets his heart on material riches and lives to enjoy them to the exclusion of spiritual things forfeits his soul to materiality. Setting the heart on a thing brings into play the active vitality of the soul qualities.
How do we become “rich toward God”? We become rich toward God through meditating upon God and communing with Him in daily prayer, and through setting our heart on the things that enlist the deepest interest of our mind and soul.
November 15, 1942: Luke 12:13-15
What attitude toward possessions makes for harmony and happiness in the family relationship? Unselfishness and willingness to consider the rights of others instead of insisting on one's own, as well as a sense of individual responsibility, consign questions of family income and possessions to a place of relative unimportance. Family harmony is kept intact by the use of the word “ours” instead of “mine.”
How may covetousness he overcome? By individual effort. “Keep yourselves from all covetousness.” Knowing that mere things do not make for happiness but that mutual love and good will do make for it abundantly, members of the family have their happiness in their own hands, and by imposing a watch over the self may develop the faculties that create and preserve it.
December 5, 1943: Luke 12:13-25
What kinds of riches may we inherit? Both spiritual and material riches. It more essential for us to possess ourselves of the former than of the latter.
How do we possess ourselves of Spiritual riches? By developing them within ourselves. Faith, love, and wisdom, for example, are spiritual riches or gifts that we develop through use.
What does the commandment to keep ourselves from all covetousness include? It includes all abnormal craving of material things, even of those to which we may be entitled under man-made law. A person is entitled to share equally with his brothers and sisters in his parents' estate, but if he devotes his entire thought and attention to the obtaining of his portion of material goods, he is guilty of coveting those things.
How is a man's life truly enriched? In the abundance of his inner resources or spiritual gifts. These make his life rich, satisfying, and fruitful.
Is it the part of wisdom to accumulate material wealth with a view to retiring and taking life easy afterwards? It is unwise to devote all one’s thought to accumulating material wealth, if by so doing we neglect the things of mind and heart; for the latter atrophy under neglect, leaving life poorly equipped and unrealized.
What is meant by being “rich toward God”? To be rich toward God is to possess the qualities of faith, wisdom, love, judgment, zeal, and such others as equip us for real living.
How can we lay up the things that make us spiritually rich? By exercising what we already possess of these things we may add to them daily, thus building up reserves of spiritual power and strength.
How can we avoid worrying over the future? By holding firmly to our faith in the unfailing nature of divine love and power and by studying to realize the universal nature of life. Through faith we shall be cared for more surely than are the ravens and other living things that make no provision for their future sustenance.
Does worrying (being anxious) have constructive power? No. It invariably tears down or destroys. “Which of you by being anxious can add a cubit unto the measure of his life?”
December 2, 1945: Luke 12:13-21
Aside from the supplying of our needs in an external sense, do we derive any intrinsic benefit from the practice of keeping our mind open toward the Infinite as our source? The practice gives depth and character to life, with freedom from care and the burden of responsibility.
What should be our attitude toward material goods and possessions that are accounted ours by right of inheritance or other man-made custom? An attitude of detachment rather than of grasping possessiveness. The Christ Spirit does not occupy itself with questions of property rights, but causes us to look to the source of all property for our supply.
In planning our life what is the most important thing to consider? The development of our God-given faculties by their proper use, so that we may become “rich toward God” instead of only financially rich.
Who is the “certain rich man” mentioned in the parable, and what is his ground that “brought forth plentifully”? This rich man represents each or us, and our mind is the ground that brings forth plentifully. This it is our duty to cultivate.
Where do we find room to bestow all our grain and our goods? We invest them in life as we live it, by putting into it all that we gain in our contact with the finite and with the Infinite as well.
May 26, 1946: Luke 12:19-20
What are the “goods” that the soul may lay up with reasonable expectation of keeping and using them? The qualities of mind and heart that make for happiness and usefulness in life and that develop Christ-like character.
Can these be compared in value with material possessions? There can be no comparison in value between them, for material possessions have money value only, while qualities of character are without price.
April 24, 1949: Luke 12:16-21
What is represented in today's text by “a certain rich man”? He represents generic race man or man in sense consciousness.
What is the “ground” that “brought forth plentifully”? It is the race consciousness, which the race accepts without questioning as the normal, right state.
Are the riches of the race consciousness material or spiritual in their nature? They are always material, and the desire to acquire them leads to covetousness and selfishness.
How does the soul become “rich toward God”? By holding resolutely the mind of Christ and resting in the consciousness of the Christ as well as by doing the works that the Christ consciousness enjoins upon us.
Can we accumulate spiritual riches sufficient to allow us to retire, to take our ease, in the life that is lived from within? We cannot retire or take our ease in the inner realm. Unless we continue to cultivate the spiritual values of mind and heart and to express them in our daily life, the values become dormant in us and finally we lose our consciousness of them. Our soul is then “required” of us.
Is the individualist who treasures [free?] will, free salvation, and other ideals of freedom and who rejects the idea of compulsion in Spirit justified in so doing? No. Freedom under the divine law does not excuse us from observing its requirements any more than freedom under man-made law excuses us from obeying the law. The Divine law holds us to account for even our lightest word, but we gain freedom from the negative effects of our thoughts, words, and actions to the extent that we conform our life to the perfect life of Spirit.
August 5, 1951: Luke 12:13-21
Why does the Christ not demand that men make an equitable division of their material goods? Because the Christ is the spirit of selflessness, actuating the hearts of men not in division but in unity and accord. As God so loved that He gave, so the Christ Spirit in the heart causes a person to see the needs of his brother and to try to satisfy them. Instead of grasping for himself, he gives freely of himself as well as of his substance.
How can we keep ourselves from all covetousness? By being God-centered instead of self-centered. Then we no longer crave great material possessions or seek to excel others in the amassing of material wealth. By regarding material things impersonally we overcome the desire to possess them personally and can enjoy them even when they belong to others.
How do we take possession of our “property” in the immaterial or spiritual realm? By use. A faculty that is used develops just as a muscle develops with use. Faith grows by being used; wisdom, love, and other faculties all increase as we daily express what we have of them.
In the realm of immaterial values are we required to use what we have? Yes. If we cease to have faith in God or man, our faith faculty deteriorates and becomes dull or dormant. We cannot hoard or store up spiritual possessions. We must continually use them if they are to remain active in consciousness.
What alone can we truly possess? Only that for which we give an adequate return. In the giving of the return we make ourselves “rich toward God” and live the abundant life.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 12:22-34
12:22And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. 12:23For the life is more than the food, and the body than the raiment. 12:24Consider the ravens, that they sow not, neither reap; which have no store-chamber nor barn; and God feedeth them: of how much more value are ye than the birds! 12:25And which of you by being anxious can add a cubit unto the measure of his life? 12:26If then ye are not able to do even that which is least, why are ye anxious concerning the rest? 12:27Consider the lilies, how they grow: they toil not, neither do they spin; yet I say unto you, Even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 12:28But if God doth so clothe the grass in the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven; how much more shall he clothe you, O ye of little faith? 12:29And seek not ye what ye shall eat, and what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. 12:30For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: but your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 12:31Yet seek ye his kingdom, and these things shall be added unto you.
12:32Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 12:33Sell that which ye have, and give alms; make for yourselves purses which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief draweth near, neither moth destroyeth. 12:34For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
March 22, 1936: Luke 12:22-34
What should be our state of mind in regard to the so-called problems of food, clothing, and shelter? We should have faith that all our needs will be met, when we make union in consciousness with the Spirit of infinite wisdom, love, and power.
How are birds equipped for survival? Birds are considered to be creatures of instinct, which enables them to find the climate and food suited to them.
How does man's equipment compare with that of the birds? Man's instinct is less clearly defined than that of the birds, because he relies chiefly on reason, intuition, or faith in a higher power to put him in touch with limitless substance and so provide for his needs.
How does man become a co-worker with God? By readying himself through the exercise of faith, keeping his mind clear and untroubled, his feeling confident and serene, man works with God.
Can faith, reason, and intuition be made instinctive in man? As man consciously develops these powers, they tend to become instinctive.
Is the body only the clothing of thought? The body is more than externalized thought. It is the instrument by means of which man proves his thought true or untrue and demonstrates his understanding of the principles of right living.
What are problems, and how is man fitted to cope with them? Problems are matters or situations that are difficult if not impossible of solution by the personal man. Through faith man solves his problems easily and to all appearance naturally.
Is man’s power to survive due in any degree to his superior adaptability? By lending himself as a willing channel to Spirit, man adapts himself to such shifts and changes as he does not alter to suit himself. The nature of his equipment for mastering his environment, both mental and physical, frees him from handicaps and enables him to enter into eternal life consciousness, thus solving the question of survival.
What is the lesson of the lily? The members of the vegetable kingdom develop true to form because, being without consciousness, they offer no obstruction to their perfect unfolding. Man’s development in the kingdom of the heavens should be much surer, since he can seek it consciously through faith.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 12:35-40
12:35Let your loins be girded about, and your lamps burning; 12:36and be ye yourselves like unto men looking for their lord, when he shall return from the marriage feast; that, when he cometh and knocketh, they may straightway open unto him. 12:37Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them sit down to meat, and shall come and serve them. 12:38And if he shall come in the second watch, and if in the third, and find them so blessed are those servants. 12:39But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what hour the thief was coming, he would have watched, and not have left his house to be broken through. 12:40Be ye also ready: for in an hour that ye think not the Son of man cometh.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 12:41-48
12:41And Peter said, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even unto all? 12:42And the Lord said, Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall set over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? 12:43Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 12:44Of a truth I say unto you, that he will set him over all that he hath. 12:45But if that servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; 12:46the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he expecteth not, and in an hour when he knoweth not, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint his portion with the unfaithful. 12:47And that servant, who knew his lord's will, and made not ready, nor did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes; 12:48but he that knew not, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. And to whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required: and to whom they commit much, of him will they ask the more.
May 8, 1904: Luke 12:35-48
Faithfulness, watchfulness, readiness, are the keynotes of this lesson. The idea that Christ would come again at some future time was met by this series of parables and illustrations of the reward that always comes to those who are alert in taking advantage of the Now Opportunity.
“There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.”
There used to be in one of the old Greek cities a statue called “Opportunity.” It was a human figure standing on tiptoe to show that it remained but a moment. It had wings on the feet to suggest the speed with which it passed by. The hair was long on the forehead to show that men must seize an opportunity when they meet it; while the back of the head was bald to indicate that when an opportunity has once passed it cannot be caught. However, these illustrations of the passing away of opportunities never to return are drawn largely from the mortal side of life. Opportunities are being continually showered upon man spiritually, and the tide of his affairs is always at flood.
The coming of Christ in consciousness has nothing to do with a personal appearance in outward form. Every few years for the last two thousand years some Christian sect has expected the personal appearance of Jesus on earth, yet he has not come, and they are still setting dates for his advent, and just as in the past, meeting with disappointment. He illustrated in parable and definite statements, oft repeated, that his coming was spiritual in character, yet men ignore all this and look for the physical man again. Such is the delusion of physical concepts.
The burning lamp is always illustrative of the flame of intelligence. The girding of the loins is an Oriental illustration, where the flowing robes have to be bound up with a girdle before freedom of action is possible.
A marriage in Scripture symbolism always refers to a union of states of consciousness. In the unregenerate man the seven planes of consciousness are separate and act one upon the other by reflection rather than by direct contact. But when regeneration sets in, there is a melting up of these stratifications and a new relation established. The Lord unites the soul and the body in the last stage of regeneration, and the physical is raised to such a high rate of life action, or vibration, that it disappears to sense sight. This is the ascension which Jesus passed through.
This lesson refers to a union having taken place in some of the interior planes, and the coming of the Lord to consciousness more clearly in consequence. This development of the inner man is subtle, and one has to be watching and looking for it in order to realize what is going on and profit by it. The one who is constantly expecting the advent of the Christ in his soul will eventually realize his presence. This expectancy keeps an inner light burning, and when the hour is come that watchful servant is rewarded by the Lord for his faithfulness and blessed. It is a fact of Spiritual development that, when a certain point has been attained, there is established a connection with interior forces that serve the man and supply him with sustenance. These subconscious forces steal into the soul like thieves in the night; we must be on the lookout for them.
December 29, 1940: Luke 12:35-48
Does the Christ spirit inspire man to watchfulness? The I AM or Christ Spirit in man, rightly followed, keeps him alert and watchful, ready always to serve the highest.
What is man's “lord”? The natural man's “lord” is the dominant desire or impulse that he serves, whether consciously or unconsciously.
When does the Christ become our Lord? When we develop the Christ Spirit in our daily life and affairs, and express that Spirit in preference to any other.
What is meant by man's being served by the Christ? This takes place when man becomes established in the spiritual consciousness.
What is the watching that is enjoined upon those who expect their Lord? Watching means preparation to receive the Christ idea.
How does the law of life defend a man? He who keeps the law of life is safe from death and fear. “In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.”
What is the “Son of man”? The Son of man is the man that God created, the real self of all men.
What does the “faithful and wise steward” represent? The steward represents the soul of man, whose function it is to watch over, guard, and protect the body, and nourish it with the word of Truth.
How is the body robbed of its birthright of true thought, intelligent direction, and care? The natural or personal consciousness leads man to misuse his soul powers, and as a consequence the body is neglected or abused.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 12:49-53
12:49I came to cast fire upon the earth; and what do I desire, if it is already kindled? 12:50But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished! 12:51Think ye that I am come to give peace in the earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: 12:52for there shall be from henceforth five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. 12:53They shall be divided,
father against son,
and son against father;
mother against daughter,
and daughter against her mother;
mother in law against her daughter in law,
and daughter in law against her mother in law.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 12:54-56
12:54And he said to the multitudes also, When ye see a cloud rising in the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it cometh to pass. 12:55And when ye see a south wind blowing, ye say, There will be a scorching heat; and it cometh to pass. 12:56Ye hypocrites, ye know how to interpret the face of the earth and the heaven; but how is it that ye know not how to interpret this time?
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 12:57-59
12:57And why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right? 12:58For as thou art going with thine adversary before the magistrate, on the way give diligence to be quit of him; lest haply he drag thee unto the judge, and the judge shall deliver thee to the officer, and the officer shall cast thee into prison. 12:59I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou have paid the very last mite.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 01-21-2014